Of course, we here at Macworld Australia love our Apple products. Usually, we’ve got very little to gripe about with any of its gear or gadgetry. But, let’s face it – the little white earphones that come bundled with your iPhone or iPod really aren’t much chop.
Thankfully, there’s no shortage of excellent alternatives on the market. One of the latest contenders to the throne of Affordable iPhone Plugs is Jays, with its latest a-Jays Fours finding some real popularity.
Their fine reputation starts with the Four’s affordability, which, at $99.95, cost just as much as pair of Apple’s in-ear whities.
Of course, their price-point also denotes where the Fours sit in terms of quality; audiophiles interested in purchasing a pair of Jays will likely shell out a little more to go higher up the range.
That said, the Fours offer a number of excellent features often found in much more expensive products. Inline controls offer volume, play and pause functions, as well as the ability to pick up and hang up on calls.
Likewise, the flat ribbon is a design innovation that would be welcome on every other set of earphones. Not only does it ensure the cables remain tangle-free, but save the fine wires inside the sheath from twisting and snapping, as they so often do.
The 3.5mm jack’s design is also rather sensible, with it sitting flush against the top of the iPhone rather than pointing directly upward (and into your hip).
The Fours come bundled with a selection of silicone sleeves in order to affix the earpieces more comfortably in your earhole; an addition that’s a must for any prospective earphone purchaser.
However, I did find that passive noise isolation was limited, with a fair amount of outside sounds filtering into your tracks. Likewise, sound quality was limited, with a slightly muddy quality and fine detail dropping off at the top end.
But that’s the sort of criticism that has to be qualified against the a-Jays’ price and relative to its competitors, which certainly don’t sound better. In fact, Jays points out that the Four’s frequency response is 20-21000Hz, a span that’s typically higher than other models at this end of the category.
All in all, a pair of a-Jays Fours make an excellent replacement set for the default iPhones, with a number of convenient features found more often in higher-end models.